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South Texas Living


‘It ain’t over till it’s over’




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October 14, 2015 | 2,022 views | Post a comment

Sept. 22, 2015, will be remembered as “the day Yogi died.” Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra was loved by millions of people. His outstanding ability and endurance on the baseball field made him a star, but his humble personality and wise thinking made him a fan favorite. Most everyone has heard a “Yogi-ism” -- a statement made that was wise in its essence, but a little warped in its rendition. The most famous Yogi-ism is probably, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Everyone realizes that the expression is not quite “correct,” but they also know the thought is accurate.

Probably, the secret to Yogi Berra’s longevity in the hearts and minds of the people was the fact that they identified with him. In his playing days, he was a catcher, a position admired because of its difficulty. He was also a “clutch hitter” -- coming through with base hits at key moments in ball games. Finally, he seemed to be a “regular guy” even though he was part of a profession that was beginning to separate itself from common people.

The thing for which Yogi will be remembered most was his way of expressing himself as he was speaking. Because of his achievements in playing, coaching, and managing baseball, his intelligence was easily seen. However, when he spoke, the syntax and grammar were “off” just enough to give his sayings that extra “punch” that others did not have, even though they were saying the same things. (Lance Cordle -- Calvert City Church of Christ, Calvert City, Ky. -- BulletinDigest.com)

Yogi-isms include some of the following well-knowns: * “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else” * “You can observe a lot by watching” * “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore!” * “The future ain’t what it used to be” * “When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it” * “You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they might not come to yours” * “I never said half the things I said” * “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility” * “Baseball is 90 percent mental, the other half is physical” * “It’s déjà-vu all over again.”

[1 Corinthians 9:19-27] Many people identify with someone that has trouble expressing themselves, especially in public speaking or interview situations. I would imagine that is probably attributable to the fact that the biggest fear among people is that of speaking in public. When others identify with you and respect you, you have a greater chance of influencing them. Yogi Berra and his legacy are proof of that.

Paul, the apostle, knew that truth. Though inspired by God, he was a man with whom people identified. He wrote, “... I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” As an apostle, Paul never elevated himself; in fact he wrote: “... I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Corinthians 15:9). Paul never burdened anyone or looked to anyone for monetary support, although he did receive love gifts as he traveled and taught, because he was a tent-maker and willing to work at his trade when it was necessary (Acts 18:1-4).

We may not be great baseball players, or famous for any reason, but we can live in a way that is wise, both before God and the people we come in contact with, or influence, every day, in every way. As with Yogi, even though we may not come across the way people expect, maybe people will be forced to consider the wisdom behind it. If godly wisdom does not now characterize your life, begin today. Run the race to win the grand prize. After all, “It ain’t over till it’s over!”

Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at twbonham@hotmail.com. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
 

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